January 13thWe awake to find the mountain covered in smoke from the many fires burning around the country. It's so bad outside your eyes sting when you go out , so apart from a quick coffee at Olinda we are staying in. I check the filters on the air con again just to make sure they are nice and clean, and filtering out some of this bad shit in the air.
I had a nice call this afternoon from Marilyn, who is the eldest sister of Skyhooks lead singer & legend, Shirley Strachan. Really fun chat, hopefully we can help them with some fundraising for the fire victims.
Make a new friend at Montage, her names Sarah. It's good community here at our cafe. Mostly everyone gets along, has a bit of a laugh & very supportive.
We watch Foxtels hyped "The Outsider and it is really really boring. We love Ben Mendelsohns work but he is horrible in this. Mrs Fletcher on the other hand is great. Tom Perrottas excellent book now on the screen and they do it justice. Kathryn Hahn , the fabulous Jen Richards and Jackson White plays it perfectly. Poor little confused jock!
January 14thAnother terrible morning full of Bushfire smoke, so thick, the air is rancid. By afternoon it clears a little , so i decide to go for a walk, maybe even a jog and clear the mail at our post office box. As I walk past the oval i can hear a bird calling out , he sounds somewhat distressed so i decide I'd better take a look. I find a young mottled Rosella near the road and failing to fly. I spot a friend Charlotte and she promises to hold the bird till i return and we get him into a rescue cage.
So he safe and warm in the garage area. I talk to some rescue friends and vet and we start the long task of trying to get him healthy enough to fly. Because of the bushfires so many rescue people are flat out and I know he'd probably get little attention. When 1 billion creatures could be dead you wonder how many are injured etc. Mind blowing. Anyway we give it our best shot. He wants some liquid and does so pretty much by himself. Rule 1, tempting as it is don't force feed or force drink and keep them warm. The first 4-6 hours is a main shock time, keep them snug. I was going to call him Smokey because I'm certain it's the bushfire smoke that has caused this. But feel bad that he is named after something horrid, so decide Bandit is better. Smokey and the Bandit!!!!! We spend the entire night looking after him, sometimes just talking quietly. A few times he manages to move over for a little head scratch. Poor little thing.
January 15thWell Bandit survived the night. I never know how carers and vets do it . Injured creatures sadden me so much. I'd make a lousy vet, would get upset over those who don't make it.
The sun is out , so I take Bandit out on the back lawn. Lots of grass seed so i'm hoping this will entice him into eating more. He seems to show more interest in my converse runners, especially the shoelaces and climbs on them and has fun attacking the laces. He seems happier outside so we sit for a few hours. At one stage he climbs between my hoes and has a nap. Which was odd and kinda cute. I can see how weak he is. I know in my heart he probably won't make it.
It's great that the bushfire concert in Sydney has sold out so quickly. I say to Mark I wonder if any of the Crowdies boys have made donations? I haven't spotted anything but maybe they are keeping it nice and private.
Another night with the bird. He seems to enjoy my taste in music (some one has to).
January 16thI'm with Mr Bandit today and he passes away. Just tilted his little head looked at me and then closed his eyes and went. I tried to be a tough old bastard and not cry. Grabbed the shovel and made a spot for him in the Pet Cemetery. I just wanted to do all of this before I tell Mark as I'm sure I'll be teary and useless by that stage. Which I was.
I line his burial area with wild lavender and rosemary. Part to disguise the smell of death from foxes etc who might try to dig it up. We say a few words and thats it , some stones on top and goodbye Mr Bird. Shits me that we couldn't have a win and save him. I know to many it's "just a bird" , we like our creatures so much. Fucking Bushfires.
I spent the afternoon telling our mates on FB etc the sad news. Amazing how 1 little bird can touch the hearts of so many. maybe it will help with some donations to animal shelters who are doing exceptional work around bushfire injured creatures.
January 17thI see Germany is to phase out coal by 2038. As someone said today, "well it is after all a FINITE product". So true.
I'm on the roof of Ailsa Craig, to clean 1 of the 2 remaining scary gutters. The roof is so big and so steep in parts, at times it scares me to almost freezing on the spot. I fight the urge to become a human gargoyle and continue onto the solar array. I connect my climbing rope, so i can lean way way on out to get those last bits out of the fire covers. I try not to look down and focus on the weeds. Meanwhile the roof is heating up and I'm shoeless as always. Mark helps a lot , but will he catch me if I fall. Ha! Mark climbs the ladder as he is a couple of inches taller so he can do the end gutters. Between us we get it done. It's utter bliss to stick my feet in the cool of Banshees swimming pool. We both sit out on the decking and share some icecreams as a reward. I'm going to hate the day when I'm an old person and can no longer climb.
January 18thThe Bushfires continue to rip this country apart. I know people need to donation money but I am glad that charities are being extra careful. It's probably so tempting for some to try and rip off charities. We've donated to a few, a couple of smaller animal charities too. Sometimes it's only $20 but it all helps.
January 19thGood to see Mary , Pete and my friend Chris at Montage today. Marys looking healthy and holding court. A lot of much needed laughter.
I buy some extra avocados and fetta to make my Avocado Smash tonight. A success, the glaze just makes it taste extra perfect, so says Marky.
Our once a year viewing of Big Stars "Nothing Can Hurt Me" documentary. What a band, so many brilliant songs. Some sadness that Chris Bell never came out , I love his contribution to that debut album. Anyway awesome music documentary, if you haven't already, check it out.
January 20thStorms again and more hail. Some terrible news from some friends of ours, at least they are safe. Ferny Creek, just down the road from us received a huge amount of rain, the main tourist road covered in water and peoples driveways were washed down the street.
We watched the 4th Clint Eastwood 'Dirty Harry' movie-"Sudden Impact". Sondra Locke so excellent. It has the infamous "Go ahead make my day" line. We love ol' Clint, looks like we will be spending the next few nights watching Dirty Harry movies.
Somehow Marks ankle is stuffed, it happened to me a few weeks back, just out of the blue. I think he just wants to look cool using my funky rabbit head walking stick. Several days later it's all ok again. I guess we shouldn't moan if this is the worse thing we have, keeping weight down is a good thing at our age, you see too many obese people waddling around with walking frames at our age, which is ridiculous. I get it when you are way older but at our age it's tragic and in many cases denial. A bit of exercise would do some the world of good. Saying that I avoid sit ups!
January 21stA fun chat with Bongo Skyhook today. It sounds like Adelaide went well for his Skyhooks show- sold out night and 2 page article in the newspaper. His memory isn't too bad, we confirm another Skyhooks gig for the Live List. So Skyhooks played 1019 shows. I still believe a tiny handful are missing, especially the early period (pre-Shirley). It's good to have those live shows listed for our various bands, excellent when we need to reference gigs etc. Mark and myself put in a lot of time. It's always shocking how many bands and artists don't have a list of all the shows they have performed.
The 2 Shirl of Skyhooks items are now up on Lloyds auction page. The money raised will go to the Bushfire victims. I put together a little press release and off to our various media contacts. Ideally I'd love three majors to run with it, just means it will raise a decent amount of money. Marks working on tidying up some images of Shirl wearing the orange satin jumpsuit. Orange is sooooo Seventies isn't it? A bit of a Skyhook day. Maybe we are still living in the seventies.
January 22ndI saw PM Scumo on the news today, walks and talks like a desperate man. Not sure if anything will save his bloated political career. I see Dutton is hanging around in the wings like a bad smell.
Fire alarms went off at the oval today, several times , we only really panic if they continue for more than 5 minutes. The bushfire smoke rolls back in. It does seem endless.
January 23rdLots of press calls today. It feels a bit like old times.
Email chat to our old friend Tania , so that was fun. Another mate from Western Australia has been in contact , after many years , so kind of a strange day.
January 24thI keep our Wangaratta friends on their toes by giving them such excellent information like -Dame Ednas 2nd appearance, way back in April 1958 was at Wanga's Arts festival. Of course Wangaratta didn't remotely get her. No surprise really .... I wish there were photos!
Some media articles appear today and the bidding price on Shirls bushfire memorabilia doubles. Good to see. Thanks Aussie media.
January 25thNot long now till Neil and Nick start the Crowded House rehearsals. Sounds like they have been working on quite a lot of new songs too.
January 26thAustralia Day. For yours truly every day is Australia day, I love the people and this country. If the date was changed I honestly would not care. Because a flag went up on the 26th means NOTHING to me. I do think we should take in consideration of the first Australians and their feelings around the date. Besides Australia day has not always been celebrated on the 26th.
Our traditional viewing of the 'Don's Party' movie which we LOVE.
January 27thIt's a public holiday here, I was going to bake bread but slept in. So up to Olinda and grab some from the bakery. Run into a friend so have a coffee at Montage. The other Peter & Mark arrive with a massive slice of homemade Pavlova for us.
In the afternoon I start weeding the vegetable patch, all of this rain and sunshine, means everything grows , so it doesn't take long for the weeds to pop up. I leave the clovers as they are good for the soil.
I head inside for a drink and the phone rings and it's Noel. Chat a little about the Split Enz NZ project. hard to even work out what it is being called. Will give it a bit of a mention and some links when it is unveiled to the public. I'm guessing it's not very far away.
The late afternoon I snuggle up in bed with the headphones on and going through some more tapes on the player from Nikki.
Burgen Aan Zee, 1978 rehearsals. Love hearing the Split Enz song "Betty" being 'created' and worked on during the rehearsal moment. The tape finishes with some "final jam", which goes on and on and on. Who's screeching guitar is that Neils or Judds?
January 28thI'm reading as much as I can on Morocco. The local hash in Marrakesh is Rif Kif, hash grown nearby in the Rif mountains. See I'm going to be prepared for everything. *grin*
Nice to hear from Nick Seymour, a call from Ireland. Ok I do miss certain things around the Crowdies , chatting to Nicholas is one of them.
January 29thI walk down to Karwarra to buy a few more aussie native plants for my one a day planting. So nice outside I go and sit on one of the big rocks in the nursery gardens by the pond. I look up and two Black Cockatoos land and join me, having a wade in the pond. They wander up and sit right near me next to the rock. So very very cool. They both live at the oval, not certain if the bushfires have sent them up here or simply all the pine cones for them to munch on. We hang out for 30 minutes. So magical.
I have a coffee with Veronica. I love hearing about her theatre days. What an amazing lady.
Banshee spends the night sleeping on the window sill, hoping to catch a cool breeze.
January 30thMark managed some amazing deal on a big parcel of BluRays from JB. He certainly is the ultimate bargain hunter & saved us a fortune. One was JOKER , and it was such a great movie. Joaquin Phoenix best work. Having Robert De Niro and Frances Conroy in the cast and added joy. Surely Joker was the best movie for 2019. It deserved all the raves. A must see.
January 31stI'm shocked that January is already gone. I still have our Christmas cards up, they look so good on the wooden plantation blinds.
It's HOT today, and Victoria is gobbling up electricity , the most used in the last 6 years . Thankfully we manage to get through the day with no black outs. I guess all those solar panels around the state are feeding power back down the grid for others to use. We suck on icecreams and stay in the lovely cool loungeroom. The air con is so bloody nice. Miss Banshee rolls upside down on a cool sheet. I head outside a few times and water some plants, surprised that the water tanks that i use for the garden are still at 80% full. It's stinking hot outside.
February 1stI'm not sure if it's all the hot days , or just my body playing catch up, but today I decided to bludge. Spend most of it in bed, reading or napping. Marks enjoying himself with all our Skyhooks press books . Every few minutes he wanders in and reads me something, including a piece I wrote about our first Skyhooks gig, when the band were finally allowed to play Wollongong. I was surprised that it did have a few good one liners- not bad for a teenager from Wollongong. Meanwhile Shirls outfit for the Bushfire auction has now hit $2300.00 and rising. Still 9 days to go. Onya Shirl!
The rain falls all day, so nice to hear the sound of it on our roof. My tomato plants are now growing like crazy. Later starters this year but hoping for a bumper crop.
February 2ndI see a Melbourne Arena is going to have a name change in honour of John Cain, the former Premier who passed away recently. Maybe they can get rid of homophobic old bag Margaret Courts name off that arena , she totally shits me, hope she chokes on her chin waddle, old horror that she is. Urgh. I don't give a shit that she hits tennis balls over a net, she's a terrible human being. I guess she won't be marching at Pride today next to tennis great Martina Navratilova! Ha!
Only a matter of time till Nationals deputy leader Bridget Mckenzie is kicked off the front bench and resigned as deputy. Horrid old Barnaby Joyce must be getting an election stiffie over this, bet he tries again for the top spot.
Tens of thousands watched the Pride March today at St Kilda. The 25th year. Great to see Premier Dan the Man supporting Pride and marching alongside federal Opposition leader Anthony Albanese. St Kilda became one big party and for most of it the weather was close to perfect.
Happy Midsumma to you all!
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